House Sparrow Invasion

Can someone please help 

We have two large bushes crawling up the front of our house and they are full of house sparrows (they're definitely not rare). The poo everywhere,  car, driveway and on us. We have two young children and are very worried that they will pooped on or made ill from coming into contact with their excrement.  Is there a way I can legally get rid without having to wait for them to leave? I'm not having much look with Natural England and Defra. Should I keep trying? 


  • Not sure why you've written, "(they're definitely not rare)", as every year, they're number 1 in the bird sightings on Garden Birdwatch. i.e. they're very common. They are also not declining in UK. There is some data 'usage' that suggests they are, but that is using timescales that are never going to be favourable for most species that have declined since gardens and hedgerows starting being lost on a large scale.

    I have lived with house sparrows all my life. I have moved house a few times, but have most extensive knowledge of living with them during the last 30 odd years. I also have offspring (that have now grown up). There have been upwards of 30 sparrows here over the Winter. They're spread out a bit now but still up to 20 around the house and garden.

    House sparrows have lived in and around people for centuries/millenia. During that time, some people, like you, have had children.

    Not sure what you're expecting out of Natural England and Defra, unless you live in a working bakery or similar.

    I have never had an issue with sparrow faeces. I have parked cars under nest sites, next to roost sites etc. I have had them nesting over a front door, over our bedroom window, over the patio etc. Never have sparrow faeces been in evidence. Chances are, if you aren't exaggerating/making it up, it is other species, esp pigeons.

    There is no law to stop you from stripping your garden of cover/plants. That will make the area more sterile and wildlife free. The only thing to bear in mind is nest sites. Sparrows often nest in cavities and nest boxes. They also build nests in plants, incl ones against the house. Chances are there are no nests in yours though, if you're accurate in saying the bushes are full of sparrows. It will more likely be a gathering site.

    Children are more likely to pick up bugs from school than entering and leaving their house. Covid has caused an increase in health anxiety. Hopefully, you'll work out that sparrows aren't going to wipe your family out any time soon.

  • The rare comment was a joke referring to them apparently being in decline and being on the red list.

    They're definitely sparrows and I know what bird poo looks like. Yes, not 100% white and black lumps across my drive so perhaps an exaggeration there, but there are dozens of drops. There's large bushes at the end of my drive and across the road, I guess as they fly back and forth so much it leads to a larger concentration of poo landing on my drive. Everyday I clean off the car so it doesn't cause damage and I was missed by a drop by about a foot last week whilst standing on my doorstep. I also found a dropping inside the door frame of the car where I get one of the children out, which I didn't notice when it happened but clearly a close call.

    There's definitely nests there, the opening where the windows are also hold a lot of fallen nest material and dried mess. Clearly been here longer than the month that I have been.

    I could post a pictures but I won't. If you or anyone else think I'm exaggerating, ignore the post and move on.

    If anyone has any helpful advice on how I can move them on legally, please help.
  • If there are nests you cannot legally 'move them on' until September. As Robbo says unless you are a commercial food enterprise they will not be considered to present a health hazard. Without knowing your area, your garden may provide the only suitable cover in the area or it is somewhere they have traditionally congregated. You possible won't get much advise on how to deter them from these forums as they are RSPB - protection rather than prevention.

    Cin J

  • In reply to Tax:

    Tax said:
    If anyone has any helpful advice on how I can move them on legally, please help.

    You can't move them on legally.  End of.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • TBH, I don't know if it's at all possible, but checking if there's a route. Was hoping not having to wait until September. If they didn't cause such a mess I wouldn't mind. They're loud but that's fine.

  • In reply to Tax:

    Just to correct you, I accepted you have house sparrows. My wording is pretty clear on that. What I do not accept is your description of the faeces problem, or that whatever the scale of it is, is caused by house sparrows. Mess on the drive will be pigeons, possibly blackbirds etc. I repeat that I have lived with sparrows for a number of decades, incl all those nest locations I listed prev. At no time have they been leaving trails of faeces everywhere.

    My help to you was to reassure you that there is not a hygiene problem for your children. Whatever anxiety you have to towards cleanliness, the science doesn't support it, and centuries/millenia of history proves it is unfounded.

    I hope the responses helped you.